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Thread: Propane Tank Size

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Rosenberg, TX
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    138

    Propane Tank Size


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    I know this is kind of a stupid question but I have to ask anyway. I just finished building a forge with Ed Caffrey's plans. What size propane tanks do most of you use? I know a 5 gallon BBQ tank is too small because they freeze up when in use and I want something I don't have to fill every time I forge 6 or 8 knives or do a little welding. I don't want a 250 gallon tank sitting in my pasture either. I won't be making 10 -15 knives a day because this is just a hobby. So, what are the suggestions for a reasonable tank size for a forge with one or two burners, mine has 1 but want to be prepared for the future and a firing chamber 6" diameter X 16" length? If this forge doesn't work Like I expect, though I think it will, I will purchase forge from Ellis. Sorry for the stupid question.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Idaho
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    1,158
    I use a 120 gallon tank. This is the size I can set next to or in the the building without an inspection. Check with your local autorities for max and mims. Some get by with 100 pounders.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Boise, ID
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    449
    I use two 20 pounders connected with a "T". I chose 20 pound since we have to travel a lot with the tanks and it's any easier size to carry.

    These work just fine on the Darren Ellis 8" forced air forge (that I highly recommend).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Norwood,MO USA
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    117
    It takes 96000 btu per hour of straight burn time to use 1 gallon of propane. A 100 pound propane tank holds @20 gallon. 20 lb b-b-q bottle holds @ 5 gallon.

    I'd opt for 100 lb tank. I used one on my whisper low boy for just heat treat and occasional forging for several years and the thing lasted forever. I just have a 20 lb tank on it now and still get several sessions out of it although it does freeze up on me.

    Hope this helps.
    Craig

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Walla Walla Washington USA
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    9,553
    I use a 100 pound bottle. It is empty sometimes and I have to stop to go fill it. If I were rich I would lease a 250 from the propane company and put it on a "keep full" plan. It would look good out by the shop I think.
    Please visit my website at http://brucebumpknives.com click on my Knifedogs personal forum at:http://knifedogs.com/forumdisplay.ph...ce-Bump-Knives for hours and hours of tutorials on Knives and Cut N Shoot combinations

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Gresham, Oregon, USA
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    5,673
    I prefer the 50 pound bottle's. Large enough to last awhile and don't break your back when being moved.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Woonsocket RI
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    1,510
    50lb bottles? I dont think i've ever seen a 50lb bottle, but i use some 40lb ones and they're my favorite size. Then again the bottle probably weighs a little over 50 full since 40 is just the fuel weight.

    http://www.tharkis.com/images/shop/2burnerforge.jpg

    is the size I'm speaking of.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Gresham, Oregon, USA
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    5,673
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin.Mercier View Post
    50lb bottles? I dont think i've ever seen a 50lb bottle, but i use some 40lb ones and they're my favorite size. Then again the bottle probably weighs a little over 50 full since 40 is just the fuel weight.

    http://www.tharkis.com/images/shop/2burnerforge.jpg

    is the size I'm speaking of.
    Pretty sure the 50 pounders are a new size. Believe there the same height as your 40 except wider.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Northern Calif. Sierras. EAst of Sacramento.
    Posts
    576
    That one looks like the one I've seen at Lowe's. Probably a new size. I think it's about $90.00. Looked good to me. Gonna get one next time I go to town.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Sand Springs OK
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    1,660
    if the 20 lb bbq size is freezing up you are using to much propane.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Success, Missouri
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    9,274
    They all will work fine but I like a big one. I have a 350 gal out behind the shop and it's filled once a year and a half or so. It also cost about half per gallon here to have the big one filled over the smaller tanks I used to carry into town.
    Don
    www.sunfishforge.com

    CKCA ABS KMG BAM

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Puget Sound, Wa
    Posts
    101
    Have been using the 20lb size tanks forever, easy on the back. To prevent freezing up, set the tank in a kitty litter box with about 4" of water in it. The water sucks the cold from the tank, yeah I know, sounds crazy, but it works. With heavy use you may get a block of ice in the litter box on the bottom of the tank.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    South west Colorado
    Posts
    134
    I use a 60 lb. old style that I need to get converted to ODP. It will last for days!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Morrison Colorado, at the base of the Rockys
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    122
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hanson III View Post
    They all will work fine but I like a big one. I have a 350 gal out behind the shop and it's filled once a year and a half or so. It also cost about half per gallon here to have the big one filled over the smaller tanks I used to carry into town.

    Yep!

    Same question came up about a year ago, mentioning checking into getting a DOT type RV or alternate fuel tank with a 1" ACME fitting, as your tank has.

    Last time I checked, the price to fill a 20# BBQ or POL fitting bottles is written in real small blurry font on the ground at the fill station..... You need to grab your ankles to see it.

    I run a 60 gallon Manlincher DOT tank in my Farrier rig , last 10 times I filled it it has been about the same price, $50 bucks for 30 gallons. $1.67 a gallon.

    30 gallons is about 7 BBQ bottles, I paid $100 dollars for my 60 gallon tank, used.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Moutain View MO.
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    1,098
    I have used a 60 lb bottle and it worked fine, but now I use a big 500 gallon tank and I like it much better.
    www.customknifecollectorsassociation.com

    My website www.royerknifeworks.com

    Without God I would be nothing.

    ABS Mastersmith Smith.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lexington NC
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    I am presently useing a 100 Lbs tank, I'm haveing a 350 installed as soon as they show up.You will use the same amount of propane no matter the size of the tank.With the 350 they check it every month and top it off.Nothing is worse than running out of propane on a sunday morning. Its just one less thing to worry about.
    A.Sharpe
    WWW.sharpeknives.com
    BAD SQUIRREL FORGE
    ___________________________________
    I ruin perfectly good steel!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Norfolk,Va.
    Posts
    18,283
    I use a 100# tank. It is portable enough to take and get re-filled, and big enough that no one will walk off with it.

    Jim - 120 GALLON tank inside a building???? can't imagine that is legal, even in Idaho! That is about 500 pounds of propane.
    Stacy
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Idaho
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    1,158
    Quote Originally Posted by bladsmth View Post
    I use a 100# tank. It is portable enough to take and get re-filled, and big enough that no one will walk off with it.

    Jim - 120 GALLON tank inside a building???? can't imagine that is legal, even in Idaho! That is about 500 pounds of propane.
    Stacy
    Yep its legal, not to smart, but legal.
    Mine is outside for ease of filling.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Rosenberg, TX
    Posts
    138
    Thanks for all the replies. I just found a 150 gallon tank in excellent shape for 100 bucks. Think I'll go for that one.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Turin NY
    Posts
    898
    I used to use a 100lb tank but now I run a far more effective 420lb tank. My tank holds 100 gallons so I know you will be extremely pleased with having a 150 gallon tank, some propane companies won't fill any tanks except their own so you might want to look into propane suppliers before you buy the tank.

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